Ripponlea resident fights to stop new street trees

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A RIPPONLEA man is fighting plans to plant trees in the centre of his street.

Maryville Street resident Charles Reichman – who has lived there since 1979 – says he wants to stop white cedar and smooth-barked apple gum trees being planted as part of Port Phillip council’s greening strategy.

He has started a neighbourhood petition calling for support to keep the street “unique and wide”.

“Maryville Street is almost twice as wide as all the surrounding streets,” he said.

But the council said most residents were in favour of the plan and, if approved, planting would begin soon.

Last August, a group of Elwood residents complained about five black sheoaks being planted along the nature trip of Shelley Street. They claimed the trees were straggly, unsightly, would drop fruit along the street and block views.

The council overruled the protest, saying its $700,000 strategy of greening every street in Port Phillip was in the best interests of the community.

The council aims to plant an extra 1400 trees across the municipality by June, most of which are natives.

Species include bottlebrush, coral gum, desert ash, honey locust, jacaranda and red flowering gums.

MW reported in February that many of the bottlebrushes planted along Alma Road, Inkerman Street and Grey Street, St Kilda as part of the greening strategy were being “routinely” torn up or destroyed by vandals.

Port Phillip mayor Rachel Powning said the council’s greening policy was part of its commitment to take action on climate change.

“We heard overwhelmingly from the community that they wanted a greener city in our public places,” she said. “Council has identified Maryville Street as one of several locations with an opportunity for new street trees. In addition to replacing footpath trees, the council is asking residents for feedback on planting about 12 additional trees along the centre of the road.”

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